In most cases, your first visit to our office you will be a comprehensive exam. Not only does it allow us to understand your oral health but, gives you, the patient, a chance to express your concerns and desires for your dental health and care. We use visual exam, digital x-rays, intra oral pictures and transillumination to help diagnose your dental needs. This exam encompasses your teeth, gums, jaw, and airway. Most of all it is a chance to see the office and meet our team. Getting to know you helps us to help you achieve your dental health, comfort and a beautiful smile.
Having your teeth cleaned on a regular basis is key to maintaining general dental and whole body health. When plaque and hard calculus are not removed from teeth can lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease, that is inflammation and infection of the gums and sometimes bone loss around teeth. This type of infection effects the rest of the body. There are different types of dental cleanings. What you need depends on the status of the gum health in your mouth. When you come in for your hygiene appointment we assess what your current gum health and cleaning needed for that appointment. Home care is always reviewed to help you keep your oral health at its best until you come in again.
This is a focused beam of X-Ray particles through bone which produces an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This gives the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not to use them could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.
In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take X-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional X-rays. Coupled with computer monitoring, digital x-ray technology allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns.
This is used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque because the area is too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time. So the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
Fillings are done to remove decay, and replace the affected tooth structure. Today most teeth are treated with bonded tooth colored composite fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and the tooth would need root canal treatment or an extraction.
Sportsguards are designed to prevent injury to the mouth and gums as well as reduce concussions while playing any contact sport. This includes hockey, football, basketball, soccer, rugby, lacrosse and field hockey to name a few.
Grinding and or clenching your teeth (bruxsim) is a common mouth habit that effects 1 in 10 adults. This habit happens at night while you sleep and can also occur during the day when experiencing stressful situations (driving in traffic, work/school situations, etc). The results of this habit, over time, can be heavy tooth wear, gum irritation, tooth fractures, head and neck muscle soreness and jaw joint pain. Mouth Guards (Nightguards and Occlusal Guards) are appliances that are worn by the patient to help prevent these symptoms. The appliance is made of a hard plastic that is custom fitted to your top or bottom teeth. The guard can be worn at night while you sleep or during the day when stressed. They come in many shapes and sizes depending on each patient's needs. The goal of wearing a guard will help you protect your teeth, manage your muscle discomfort, and provide support to your jaw joint.
At every exam, the hygienist and doctor will screen each patient for oral cancer. This cancer screening includes an examination of the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat and gums for any sign of cancer. Please let us know if you have noticed any swelling, ulcerations, change in the way your teeth come together, or difficulty swallowing.
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for one’s teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (gum disease) may be as follows: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these signs may mean something is wrong. With the proper care, however, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state.
This is where appropriate gum treatments come in. If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we can take care of it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to get it treated at the first sign of a problem.
Nitrous Oxide today is often used in dental offices to help a patient who might be anxious about having a dental procedure completed. It relaxes you through out your dental appointment and yet you are aware of all care provided. After the procedure you might feel tired, but you are fully aware of care completed and go about your day. It is a colorless, odorless to sweet-smelling gas that was first used in surgical and dental anesthesia in the mid-1800s. Today it is a combination of inhaled nitrous oxide and oxygen that can be a safe and effective means of managing pain and anxiety in dentistry. Nitrous Oxide is available in our office upon request.